First Covenant Preschool Holding ‘Chair-ity’ Auction

The First Covenant Church preschool is currently conducting a “Chair-ity” auction.

The one-of-a-kind chairs, refurbished and painted by local artists, feature various themes, including children’s literature, forest animals, Winnie the Pooh and the solar system, among others. Proceeds benefit the preschool, its 90 students (ages 2-5) and its seven-member staff.

Silent bids, accepted through March 17, can be made at the Chautauqua Mall Spring Home & Garden Show, March 15-17; and online at

When bidding by email, please include name, phone number, chair number and title and bid amount. Bids will be updated daily on the website and people may bid as many times as they wish.

The auction was kicked off by the preschool’s art show, which featured between 400-500 pieces of artwork crafted by the preschool children and displayed by the preschool staff.

The art show has evolved since the first one held 14 years ago. The children’s art was displayed rather primitively that first year. The preschool staff has learned to be creative in the manner in which the artwork is displayed, providing more of an art gallery feel.

“The care that is taken in displaying the art lets the children know that their art is valued and appreciated,” said Cathy Byrne, preschool director.

Byrne noted that some children are frustrated by their inability to make their art “look right,” but parents are encouraged to “help the children be comfortable and enjoy the process of creating art without worrying about the product.” She suggested introducing books on the subject, including “Ish” by Peter Reynolds and “Beautiful Oops!” by Barney Saltzberg. Experimenting with different media is also useful, Byrne said.

Maureen Beresford, a preschool teacher, said she enjoys watching the expressions of the children as they are creating their art and the “conversations they have with themselves as they’re doing it. And I’m always interested in how some children spend so much time on their projects and others complete it as quickly as they can.”

In addition to the auction, enrollment for the 2013-14 school year is open to the public, with classes for children ages 2-5.

For more information, call the preschool at 664-5203.